New York lawmakers float further punishments for Cuomo

New York lawmakers float further punishments for Cuomo
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New York lawmakers are eyeing further punishments for Gov. Andrew Cuomo following the announcement of his resignation earlier this month, including potentially reverting the name of the Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge back to the Tappan Zee and stripping the governor of his pension.

Cuomo announced his resignation last Tuesday following massive political pressure from fellow leaders over an Aug. 3 report by New York Attorney General Letitia James alleging he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women. With less than eight days before he leaves office, Republican Assemblyman Mike Lawler said the time is now to take the name of the governor's father off the bridge.

"If he could have named it the Andrew Cuomo Bridge, he would have, but he couldn't, and so he settled for Mario," Lawler said, according to NY State of Politics. "So I think it's really time to get the Cuomo name off the bridge and revert it back to the Tappan Zee."

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The governor's decision to change the name of the bridge in 2017 was met with criticism at the time, and the proposal to change it back to Tappan Zee has been brought up in the past. Assembly Bill A6594, which was introduced by Lawler in March, is in review with the state assembly committee.

A 2018 petition amassed nearly 110,000 signatures for the name to be removed from the bridge and was sent to the state Capitol. Critics of the name change said Tappan Zee represented the history of the region, with the word "Tappan" referring to a Native American tribe that lived nearby and "zee" being Dutch for "sea."

"Given the governor's conduct and the scandals swirling around him, both the sexual harassment and the nursing home scandal, as well as his $5.1 million blood money book deal, I think now is the right time to change the name back," Lawler added.

Along with James's investigation, New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie tasked the Judiciary Committee with opening an "impeachment investigation" into the allegations of sexual harassment. While Heastie said Friday the chamber was suspending the impeachment investigation in light of Cuomo's resignation, the legislative body then reversed course, with the Judiciary Committee saying it "will continue to review evidence and issue a final report on its investigation of Governor Cuomo," according to a statement from Heastie and Assembly Judiciary Chairman Charles Lavine.

If the impeachment effort is successful, Cuomo could be deprived of his government pension. A bill introduced by state Democratic Sen. James Skoufis on Aug. 6 would seek to revoke "the public pension of a public officer who stands convicted on an impeachment." If implemented, the legislation, which would negate the $50,000 pension to which Cuomo is entitled absent an impeachment or felony charge, "applies retroactively."

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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has attempted to distance herself from Cuomo in committing to a "completely ethical" gubernatorial administration, is slated to take over as governor on Aug. 24.

Representatives for Lawler, Skoufis, and Cuomo did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's requests for comment.

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Tags: News, New York, Andrew Cuomo, Kathy Hochul, sexual misconduct

Original Author: Kaelan Deese

Original Location: New York lawmakers float further punishments for Cuomo